Rachel Barnett-Salter, Clarendon School

Clarendon School provides education for children aged 7-16 with moderate learning difficulties. Pupils at the school have a variety of conditions including autism, hyperactivity, dyslexia and dyspraxia which can affect their reading and writing, concentration, co-ordination or social skills. It is one of three local special needs schools that bring their children along to sessions run by the Special Needs section of the Horse Rangers Association. Rachel Barnett-Salter, a Teaching Assistant at the school, explains how the sessions benefit the children:

“The sheer pleasure and increase in self-confidence our children get from coming horse riding is shown by their smiles and all the wonderful things they have to say about their time at Horse Rangers”

“The sheer pleasure and increase in self-confidence our children get from coming horse riding is shown by their smiles and all the wonderful things they have to say about their time at Horse Rangers. Each of our children is given individual support according to their needs, so they can develop at their own pace. The sessions involve a range of activities and games at the Horse Rangers’ indoor training school which helps them to improve their riding skills and the children also love riding outside in Bushy Park.

“As well as the physical benefits of the activity, which helps the children to increase their muscle tone and develop their posture, working with the horses also helps to have a calming effect for our children with more complex needs who can otherwise become frustrated and agitated by their learning difficulties.

“It is wonderful to find an extra-curricular activity that our children can enjoy together. None of this would be possible without the assistance and amazing positivity of the Horse Rangers volunteers who give up their time to provide this valuable experience for our children.”